Quite Best Practice

On 8 November 2017, the German Federal Constitutional Court issued a delayed press release on a decision from 10 October 2017: the civil status law will have to allow a third gender by the end of 2018.

The media reacts with increased coverage on people who identify as intersexual or queer. For those who are queer, it’s difficult to find a place in a heteronormative world that only knows female or male, but nothing in between.

Tom Chai Sosnik’s story shows how queer people can find their place in society, and how not only they but everyone can benefit from it. Tom celebrated his coming out as transgender in spring 2015 with remarkable aplomb – in a ceremony performed by Rabbi Tsipi Gabai at a Jewish school in California, supported by his family.

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Chag Sameach!

Simhat Torah

Woodcut showing a bearded man who holds up a Torah scroll and dances with it

Jakob Steinhardt, Thora Tänzer (Torah Dancer), ca. 1934; Jewish Museum Berlin, purchased with funds provided by Stiftung DKLB, photo: Jens Ziehe.
You can find more information on our holdings related to Simhat Torah in our online collections (in German).

What is it and how is it celebrated?

Over the course of the year, the Torah is read from beginning to end in the synagogue, from the first through the fifth Book of Moses. On Simhat Torah, literally “Rejoicing with the Torah,”  continue reading

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Shana Tova u’Metuka!

What makes Rosh ha-Shanah special

The Jewish year 5778 begins today—and with it a very special time for the Jewish community worldwide. Rosh ha-Shanah is the beginning of the High Holy Days, the Yamim Noraim (literally “Days of Awe”) as they’re known in Hebrew.
I asked around my friend group a bit to find out what Rosh ha-Shanah means to them personally:  continue reading